Red Mole (Mole Rojo)
November 1, 2016
Going through the markets in Oaxaca, you will pass piles of seasoning pastes in various earthy colors and flavors. Instead of having to spend all day in your kitchen, you can reconstitute mole paste and make this ceremonial dish in less than an hour. Although some stalls sell many kinds of pastes, the most popular are mole rojo (red mole), mole coloradito and the king of them all mole negro (black mole).
The Red Mole (Mole Rojo) is a very chile forward flavored sauce and works well paired with grilled pork, roasted vegetables and red meats. This recipe can be as simple as adding roasted tomatoes and stock to the mole paste or for more complex layers of flavor and a greater yield, add one or more of the optional ingredients listed in the recipe: roasted onions and roasted garlic.
Makes 6 cups Red Mole Sauce for 10-12 servings
1In a dry cast-iron frying pan, or under the broiler, roast the tomatoes until they are slightly blackened and give off their juices, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the tomatoes, and then let the mixture dry out somewhat. If using canned, fire roasted tomatoes, omit this step.
2Dry roast the onions and garlic under the broiler or in a cast iron skillet until the onions and garlic are slightly charred on both sides. (optional step if using these ingredients)
3Puree the roasted tomatoes in a blender (with onions and garlic if using any or all of these ingredients), adding up to 1 cup stock to help make a puree. Strain the puree through a food mill or strainer. *** If using a Vitamix, puree on high until smooth, straining is not necessary.
4In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, or clay cazuela, heat the oil, then add the Red Mole Paste and fry well over medium heat to release all of the flavors, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the paste is very hot, about 3-5 minutes, slowly add the tomato puree. Stir until well incorporated, and simmer for about 5 minutes, it will resemble a thin tomato paste consistency. Add the remaining chicken stock, and on medium heat simmer the mole and let it reduce a bit, about 20-30 minutes. It should be thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon. Season with Sea Salt.
5Serve the mole sauce with fresh corn tortillas and your choice of braised, roasted or grilled meats or roasted vegetables. Use as a sauce for enchiladas, tacos or a Mexican rice bowl with your favorite toppings. This mole sauce is delicious with grilled or roasted pork.
Mole is best made a day ahead to let the flavors blend together. This sauce freezes well if you have leftovers.